• ASX slumps even lower after lunch to end the day down around 0.5%
  • China’s demands for the return of “weather balloon” debris met with hearty Pentagon chuckles
  • Terramin’s bid to reopen a sub-winery mine shut down by the SA government


It’s probably not what anyone expected when the term “trickle down economics” was coined, but trickle down is precisely what the ASX has done since we broke for lunch.

After fighting its way back to within 0.2% of break-even at lunch time, the ASX 200 sank slowly over the course of the afternoon, like a damp blanket thrown over an enormous bowl of custard.

By the time the bell rang to put us all out of our collective, mopey misery, the benchmark had drooped to -0.6% and there was nary a green sector in the house.

Best performer was Industrials, as close to zero as it could get, with Real Estate (-1.54%) and Utilities (-2.52%) providing all the downward momentum they could muster to make a soggy Sydney afternoon all the more dour.

Best performer outside of the Small Caps was Maas Group (ASX:MGH), which went soaring +10.4% by lunchtime (but eased to +6.4% for the day) after releasing EBITDA guidance for 1H23 in the range of $64m-$66m, a 60% leap above pcp.

However, it’s really not been a great day for Terramin Australia (ASX:TZN), after the company’s seven-year bid to reopen an historic goldmine near the Bird in Hand Winery was knocked back by the South Australian government.

The goldmine, which closed in 1935, is located next door to the winery in Woodside – the key factor in the decision by SA’s Energy and Mining Minister Tom Koutsantoni to put paid to Terramin’s plans, despite the proposal on track to meet all statutory obligations.

“Tourism to the region is a critical contributor to the local economy and, on balance, there remains a possibility this proposed short-term mine may adversely affect the established and significant long-term agricultural and tourism industries of the Woodside area immediately adjacent the project areas,” Koutsantoni said.

Terramin has expressed surprise and disappointment in the decision, saying in a statement: “To have been through this exhaustive process and then be denied the mining lease with no clear explanation of the grounds for this decision is most unexpected.”



In other news today, the Australian federal government has announced plans to remove more than 900 Chinese-made security cameras from government buildings around the country, because of a perceived security risk.

Following an audit carried out by shadow cybersecurity minister James Paterson, the government says that around 913 cameras from Chinese manufacturers Dahua and the awesomely-named Hikvision will be uninstalled.

The move comes after the US Federal Communications Commission described cameras from those two manufacturers as posing an “unacceptable risk to national security”, after a security audit there suggested issues with possible espionage and spyware.

No word yet on which company’s products will be used to replace the cameras once they have been removed, but there’s only a slight chance that China will see their removal as anything other than more “needless economic aggression”.

And China is yet to officially respond to claims that any of the cameras may be compromised in any way, possibly waiting until they’ve had a chance to review all of the footage to determine precisely how much the Australian government already knows.

In other Chinese camera news, Beijing has reportedly demanded what’s left of its 100%-not-a-spy-balloon be returned, after it was shot down recently by the United States.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning repeated claims that the balloon, which was downed by a US F-22 fighter jet after it was spotted bobbing along merrily over Montana, was a Glorious People’s Civilian Airship Weather Dirigible which “does not belong to the US”.

The Pentagon has replied to Beijing’s demand with a hearty “new phone… who dis?”

And in even more weird spy stuff news, the ludicrously-named “US Space Force” has revealed that a mysterious Russian satellite spotted moving mysteriously in orbit around the earth on a mysterious mission has mysteriously blown up.

The 18th Space Defense Squadron confirmed that a satellite called Kosmos 2499 had broken apart into an oddly-specific “85 pieces”, creating a high-speed debris field more than 1100km in space.



Moscow is yet to demand that the US return the debris.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks:

Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort:

Code Company Price % Volume Market Cap
CCE Carnegie Cln Energy 0.002 100% 1,971,336 $15,642,574
CSX Cleanspace Holdings 0.665 73% 211,011 $29,652,516
IS3 I Synergy Group Ltd 0.021 50% 270,000 $4,047,125
AO1 Assetowl Limited 0.0015 50% 700,000 $1,572,130
EVE EVE Health Group Ltd 0.0015 50% 1,670,645 $5,274,483
GLV Global Oil & Gas 0.002 33% 1,150,000 $5,143,205
PVW PVW Res Ltd 0.14 27% 564,306 $10,232,406
FXG Felix Gold Limited 0.15 25% 172,589 $9,979,968
CLE Cyclone Metals 0.0025 25% 1,000,000 $12,353,474
GTG Genetic Technologies 0.005 25% 59,577,737 $46,166,633
OXX Octanex Ltd 0.005 25% 490,920 $1,035,911
CPT Cipherpoint Limited 0.008 23% 9,761,262 $7,433,880
ST1 Spirit Technology 0.075 23% 4,582,411 $40,548,138
MGT Magnetite Mines 0.585 22% 776,007 $36,402,340
FLX Felix Group 0.17 21% 5,707 $21,940,760
IMR Imricor Med Sys 0.295 20% 486,015 $37,080,168
GPR Geopacific Resources 0.024 20% 4,747,261 $10,423,822
HHI Health House Int Ltd 0.012 20% 111,216 $1,413,297
TD1 Tali Digital Limited 0.003 20% 291,527 $6,937,889
TTB Total Brain Ltd 0.006 20% 8,423,404 $668,606
MKL Mighty Kingdom Ltd 0.041 17% 511,300 $11,417,686
IMB Intelligent Monitor 0.14 17% 37,811 $15,684,035
SRJ SRJ Technologies 0.14 17% 452,663 $10,701,030
AXP AXP Energy Ltd 0.0035 17% 2,165,810 $17,474,042
OZZ OZZ Resources 0.075 16% 67,461 $3,026,633
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It’s a bit of the same and a few late additions over and above our lunchtime winner’s list, with CleanSpace (ASX:CSX), a company that designs, manufactures, and sells premium respiratory protection solutions for healthcare and industrial markets, up more than 53% today.

That’s due to news that CSX has been awarded three healthcare distribution contracts for the North American/United States markets – two of the agreements with leading Group Purchasing Organisations (GPOs) and the third with a large national medical equipment distributor.

Cleanspace hasn’t put a dollar figure on potential revenue that it’s likely to see from any or all of the new agreements – however, investors have piled on this morning and CSX is happily on top of the charts.

Meanwhile, neuroprotective therapeutic drug development firm Argenica Therapeutics (ASX:AGN) has climbed 28.4% today, after it announced that preclinical data has shown ARG-007 significantly inhibited the aggregation of human recombinant Amyloid-Beta (Abeta) in a cell-free Abeta aggregation assay model.

“Abeta aggregation is thought to be one of the main causes of Alzheimer’s Disease, with the Abeta accumulation in senile plaques causing memory loss and confusion,” the company says.

“At 16 hours following ARG-007 administration, a 25 μM dose of ARG-007 reduced Abeta aggregation by more than 50% compared to vehicle controls.”

The company will now progress to animal studies to further confirm the efficacy of ARG-007 in Alzheimer’s Disease and will update the market as milestones are met.

Moving up the ranks post-lunch was PVW Resources (ASX:PVW), up 22.7% on news of multiple new Heavy Rare Earth targets identified following exciting air-core results.

From PVW’s Monte Cristo Prospect, drilling has returned intercepts such as 10m @ 1,857ppm TREO (59ppm Dy2O 3 468ppm Y2O 3 ) from 19m, including 5m @ 3,071ppm TREO (95ppm Dy2O3, 568ppm Y2O3 ) from 20m (65% HREO), and 11m @ 1,037ppm TREO from 22m.

PVW is also reporting 6m @ 1,676ppm TREO from 35m at its Serpa prospect, and 1m @ 7,032ppm TREO (634ppm Dy2O3, 4394ppm Y2O3) from 30m (93% HREO) at its Watts East prospect.

Australian-listed Indonesian oil producer Bass Oil (ASX:BAS) has climbed more than 16% this afternoon on no news, as has Imricor Medical Systems (ASX:IMR), up 22.5%.



Here are the least best performing ASX small cap stocks:

Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort:

Code Company Price % Volume Market Cap
EMU EMU NL 0.004 -33% 10,085,165 $4,123,609
IPB IPB Petroleum Ltd 0.01 -29% 4,006,942 $6,389,179
AW1 Americanwestmetals 0.069 -26% 4,881,367 $14,341,383
RBR RBR Group Ltd 0.003 -25% 3,429,876 $5,626,952
TZN Terramin Australia 0.021 -22% 1,286,550 $57,147,193
ZEU Zeus Resources Ltd 0.019 -21% 16,172,918 $10,519,200
CT1 Constellation Tech 0.004 -20% 819,156 $7,356,002
AVW Avira Resources Ltd 0.0025 -17% 100,000 $6,401,370
IEC Intra Energy Corp 0.005 -17% 100,000 $4,234,690
THR Thor Energy PLC 0.005 -17% 1,185,289 $8,853,677
XST Xstate Resources 0.0025 -17% 421,159 $9,645,545
HMG Hamelingoldlimited 0.105 -16% 1,343,866 $13,750,000
KOR Korab Resources 0.022 -15% 926,191 $9,543,300
HCT Holista CollTech Ltd 0.017 -15% 871,581 $5,576,001
MRQ Mrg Metals Limited 0.003 -14% 133,500 $6,950,715
ICN Icon Energy Limited 0.013 -13% 1,035,958 $11,520,205
TSN The Sust Nutri Grp 0.02 -13% 345,000 $2,773,947
PLY Playside Studios 0.415 -13% 2,767,903 $193,136,623
CXU Cauldron Energy Ltd 0.007 -13% 2,960,774 $7,452,544
C1X Cosmosexploration 0.46 -12% 643,111 $13,125,000
AL3 Aml3D 0.11 -12% 788,791 $23,507,928
POD Podium Minerals 0.11 -12% 100,744 $42,069,865
BRX Belararoxlimited 0.275 -11% 206,302 $11,913,306
IND Industrialminerals 0.32 -11% 70,322 $10,746,000
RB6 Rubixresources 0.16 -11% 471,339 $5,049,000
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A couple of quickies we’ve not mentioned elsewhere…

Helios Energy (ASX:HE8) has updated the market on how things are progressing at its Presidio 52#1 well, saying that oil and gas appeared after 10 days of flowback after the fracking of the well, which is currently producing 70 to 80 barrels of oil per day (BOPD) and approximately 700,000 cubic feet per day of gas.

In a statement, Helios says “The oil cut has continued to steadily increase and the water production has slowly declined from 2,000 barrels of water per day (BWPD) to 1,200 BWPD.”

“The total frack water recovered is 42,000 barrels which is roughly 37% of the total frack water load of 115,000 barrels. Chlorides measurements indicate the Presidio 52#1 well is flowing back primarily frack water.”

As the water rate drops Helios is evaluating options to increase the production rate, including looking into ways it can unload the frack fluid more rapidly.

Meanwhile, drilling services and gas exploration group AJ Lucas (ASX:AJL) says it plans to “leverage earnings from its strong first half results to advance several initiatives to further deliver greater shareholder value.”

“For the first half we delivered $82.7m in revenue and $15.6m in EBITDA (up 36.4% and 32.5%, respectively, on FY22 H1 performance) from our Australian operations,” Group CEO Brett Tredinnick said.

“This strong performance in our operating business gives us the means to help address several legacy issues that continue to impact shareholder returns.

“There is significant activity within our top tier mining customers, supported by continued strong metallurgical coal prices and a positive market outlook for the commodity. This has translated to increased rig utilisation, particularly of our higher yielding technical rigs, where we are the market leader.”

AJL attributes the improvement in second quarter results to increased asset utilisation as the mine operations of several of our key clients have returned to normal operational levels following unscheduled interruptions in FY22.

And CardieX (ASX:CDX) has announced that its recent placement has found strong demand from domestic institutions, family offices, and sophisticated investors with Director support to secure firm commitments to raise $4.50 million at $0.30 per share.

Placement participants will receive one free-attaching unlisted option for every two shares issued, which are exercisable at $0.50 and expire one year from the date of issue (which is currently anticipated to be the date of completion of the offer).

Under the demand for the placement an estimated 7,500,000 free attaching options will be issued to placement participants.



Unith (ASX:UNT) – Capital raising.

Exopharm (ASX:EX1) – Halt requested ahead of an update on the company’s ongoing financial position and financing arrangements.

First Au (ASX:FAU) – Potential transaction and capital raising.

Greenstone Resources (ASX:GSR) – Capital raising.

Reward Minerals (ASX:RWD) – Capital raising.

Ora Gold (ASX:OAU) – Capital raising.